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5 Monopoly House Rules You Should Ditch

Collect Double the Salary at Go

Monopoly may well be one of the first games children (and adults) play that's designed to help them understand the concept of economics -- and the fact that their cash reserves may run out before they've bought everything they desire. It's not a coincidence that Monopoly's rules closely reflect the Depression-era economic conditions that were present during the game's initial mass-production debut.

Monopoly's standard rules allow each player to collect a $200 salary upon passing Go, but there's a house rule that inflates this amount to $400 or more (sometimes only when the player lands directly on Go, sometimes with every turn around the board). The impetus behind this is to speed up economic activity. But the benefit -- quickly accumulating wealth, and being better able to buy and develop properties -- is actually the problem, too.

Similar to the Free Parking jackpot rule, this house rule infuses too much money into the game to keep the economy functioning properly. When all the players are flush with cash all the time, they can both build up their own properties and easily pay their opponents' high rental prices. In the real world, buying things has consequences and often requires careful budgeting. Ditching this house rule not only makes the game more realistic (and shorter), but teaches young and old players alike valuable lessons about income and expenses [source: Lindsey].